Pops, Bharat Ranga and Mahesh Murthy feature in Quicko's 'Right to Pay Tax' campaign

By Ashee Sharma , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital
Last updated : July 03, 2015
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Rahul Puri, Rajesh Kejriwal and Ayaz Memon also make an appearance in the public service campaign conceptualised by Scarecrow Communications.

Only 2.89 per cent of India's population pays tax! Struck by this revelation, Quicko, an online financial service started by Vishvajit Sonagara, kicked off a public service initiative, #RightToPayTax. With the support of Scarecrow Communications and Connect.1, the digital arm of Mukta Arts, it is aimed at motivating people to exercise their 'right' to pay tax.

Lending support to the cause are media and entertainment industry veterans KV Sridhar aka 'Pops' (chief creative officer, Sapient Nitro, India), Bharat Ranga (former chief content and creative officer, Zee Group and founder RanCorp), Mahesh Murthy, (founder, Pinstorm and founding partner, Seedfund), Rahul Puri (MD, Mukta Arts), Rajesh Kejriwal (founder and CEO, Kyoorius) and Ayaz Memon (noted columnist and sports commentator). The campaign will be rolled out on the digital platform and will subsequently be extended to select television channels and multiplexes.

Every time someone is told to pay tax, it comes across as being preachy and elicits an unsurprising response, 'but what about my rights?' Since people are not very enthusiastic about discussing their duties, the perspective was changed to the 'Right to Pay Tax'. In line with the thought, the speakers in the ads talk about basic rights that we, as citizens of the country, must have - the right to be connected through communication technology, the right to safety, the right to sports and digital infrastructure, or simply, the right to entertainment and well-designed public amenities. Each ad ends on the note that to avail all these, we must use our right to pay tax.

KV Sridhar

Speaking on the initiative, Pops says, "It is all about turning responsibilities into rights." He talks about his journey in the field of telecommunication from days when wireless technology was only used for military purposes, to the present mobile revolution. "It was nice to go back to all that you enjoyed," he says, describing his experience of working on the campaign.

According to Rahul Puri, MD- Mukta Arts, the idea of getting people to exercise their right to pay tax through a software is "radical and game changing." "We demand so many rights in terms of education, healthcare, roads, safety, etc, and it's only when we pay our taxes that we can get all of this for us and our families," he adds.

Talking about the association of Connect.1 with this initiative, he says, "It makes great sense for us. Connect.1 is in the business of reaching out to people via the internet and Quicko wants people to use their online platform to pay tax. When they narrated their vision, the idea immediately hit home."

Connect.1, which worked on the video execution, is a multi-channel network with YouTube and a digital studio devoted to making content for the internet generation.

Manish Bhatt

Manish Bhatt, founder-director, Scarecrow Communications, says that the communication targets all Indian citizens with taxable incomes and aims to garner more public support in future. "We chose to bring on board accomplished industry professionals who could lend more credibility. This is a humble beginning in which they are willingly supporting us," he states.

Bhatt says that Scarecrow Communications has a special inclination towards social causes. Prior to this, the agency has worked on similar campaigns, popular among which are 'Respect the National Anthem' and 'Hostel Holi' (a Cannes winner) for Eye Bank Association of India.

"We chose to bring on board accomplished industry professionals who could lend more credibility. This is a humble beginning in which they are willingly supporting us" Manish Bhatt, Scarecrow Communications
Vishvajit Sonagara, founder, Quicko.com, adds, "I am a huge supporter of technology in our daily lives, and I have seen software turn complex tasks into beautiful experiences for the common man. We are devoted to bringing about a social change in the way people interact with finances and financial instruments."

Rightly Crafted?

Sabuj Sengupta

Radhika Likhi

According to Sabuj Sengupta, executive creative director, Hakuhodo Percept, the ads are not at all preachy and are rather "real and believable." Sengupta says, "It's a great idea to involve prominent citizens and not celebrities. When citizens get involved in any issue; the message resonates better with the masses."

He adds that the campaign is executed "quite well" and will definitely create more awareness, if not a mass movement.

Radhika Likhi, planning director at Cheil India thinks that the campaign makes an earnest appeal to citizens to exercise their right to pay tax for better infrastructure and facilities. However, she is not convinced with the execution and finds some of the videos too long.

Likhi is of the opinion that celebrities help to give "momentum" and "bigness" to a movement. "In the absence of that, the execution needs to give it scale, which I think this campaign does not have," she rues.

First Published : July 03, 2015
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